Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tips for Sprint Writing

Monday I wrote about sprint writing.  Again, it isn't for everyone.  But if it's something you're interested in doing, I'm going to talk a little bit about how to get 'er done.

As you're writing what they refer to as a 'dirty draft', don't worry about getting things perfect.  The point is to get things on the page.  Which brings me to the most important advice I ever received about writing: Give yourself permission to suck.  That's what first drafts are for.  Sucking. 

Which leads to the second important piece of advice: Don't think about how bad what you've already written sucks.  OMG, this first draft of Wish Hits the Fan is a hot mess of epic proportions.  I know that.  And I'm totally not sweating it.  I can't sweat it, because if I do, I will not be able to write another word in this book until I go back and fix everything I know is wrong with it.  Words do not get on the pages that way. 

Next, don't get bogged down with research.  If it only takes a minute or ten, go for it, but we all know that researching one thing can lead you down a warren of rabbit trails that could take hours to get free from.  If it's crucial to your story, stop writing and do the research, so you can move forward.  If it's not crucial, put a note in your work :research X: and then you'll know for when you edit.  I did a boatload of research back in October when I was first working on WHTF, and damned if I didn't forget to write it down, so now I have no clue what I meant when I wrote what I wrote, but I'm not sweating that right now either.  I'll figure it out and give the nameless being a name.  For right now, it's :research this: followed by :nameless thing:. 

Whatever it takes to forge ahead. 

Lastly, if you really want to do this, do it.  Don't tell yourself you can't do it.  If you tell yourself you can't, you're right.  If you tell yourself you can, you're right and you're getting words out.  Don't let anyone else tell you that it's not the right way to write.  What the hell do they know about your writing process?  Now, set your ass down and write.  Spew those words onto a page in some kind of coherent order.  (At least coherent enough so you can figure out what you meant when you go back to edit later.)  Before you know it, you'll have a chapter and then another and another.  As long as you stick to it, 30-60 days down the road, depending on your goals, you'll have a book from Chapter One to THE END. 

And that's that. 

Oh, and if you're like me, keep the Aspercreme handy.  Sprint writing is hard on the old hands.  My fingers are pudgy sausages of ouch this morning.  ;o)

1 comment:

  1. I used to do the #1k1hr sprints on Twitter. The plan was to either start a sprint or join one, following the hashtag, with the idea of writing 1000 words in an hour. It was a great way to focus and power through a scene. A couple of those a day make for a healthy word count.

    Since most of the drivel passing through Twitter and other social media just P'es me the h' off, I just do them in my head now.